Health + Community Development

Areas of Focus

  • Connecting Health and Housing: The quality and safety of housing is a key social determinant of health, so PACDC pursues productive partnerships between health and housing providers to increase the availability of healthy homes.
  • Trainings & Knowledge Sharing: Cross-sector education is critical to raising awareness of the benefits of potential partnerships and how to realize them. We will work to create opportunities to break down silos of communication and encourage partnerships to address a range of community development and health needs.
  • Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs): Non-profit hospitals are required by the Affordable Care Act to do CHNAs every three years, which are data-driven plans, guided by community input, on how hospitals will address community health. As trusted caretakers for Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, CDCs are an invaluable resource to provide feedback and engage community residents. PACDC works to ensure that health systems benefit from this network and its deep knowledge of their neighborhoods.
  • Partnership Opportunities: Dialogue is important, but work on the ground is what really counts. PACDC pursues opportunities for partnerships between our members and health providers that can make real improvements to communities.

Social Determinants of Health

Health experts increasingly recognize that what happens in a hospital or doctor’s office only accounts for about 10% of health outcomes.  Instead, patients are heavily affected by “social determinants of health”:  the conditions in which people live, work, learn, and play.  Ensuring healthy conditions not only leads to better health outcomes, but also saves money by preventing costly healthcare interventions downstream. That’s why CDCs and health systems share a common goal of improving the communities they serve.  CDCs compliment the work of medical providers by offering affordable housing, leading community economic development efforts, turning vacant properties into community assets, maintaining green space, putting healthy foods in reach, or providing social services.  CDCs address what individuals, families, and entire neighborhoods need to be healthy when they are outside of the doctor’s office.

This nexus between health and community development offers opportunities for partnerships between health care institutions – health systems, hospitals, insurance companies, managed care organizations, and primary care providers – and CDCs to improve communities and the health outcomes of residents. PACDC works to raise awareness of our members’ work through a health lens, highlighting opportunities for collaboration, and forging relationships between these sectors.